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Edinburgh Council Extends Digital Services Contract With CGI

Michael Behr

,

Edinburgh

The move will help support the City of Edinburgh Council’s digital ambitions, with the city currently in the running for Smart City of the Year.

Edinburgh Council has extended a deal with global information and communications technology services provider CGI that will help realise the city’s digital ambitions.

The council originally signed a £186 million deal with CGI in August 2015 to outsource its ICT services and help the council introduce integrated digital services.

As part of the deal, ICT provided digital services for Edinburgh’s citizens to facilitate online transactions, along with improving bandwidth speeds available to primary and secondary schools.

CGI also updated ICT systems across all council service areas and automated and integrated back-office processes with a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

Under the new move, councillors have agreed to extend the contract until 2029 (running from 2023). The extension will see CGI working with the council on the further digital transformation of services and continuing to be the Council’s primary ICT provider for the next nine years.

The extension will help make the council’s ICT services more stable, along with saving around £12 million.

The move comes as Edinburgh was listed as a finalist for Smart City of Year in the Digital 100 shortlist. The city was listed for its work in applying lean process improvement techniques to their digital projects.

Edinburgh’s plans to become one of the world’s smartest capital cities include responding to the needs of a post-Covid city by driving forward digital transformation, along with bridging the digital divide between Edinburgh’s most and least affluent areas.

Plans also include providing schools with the most advanced networks and kit.

In order to drive the transformation, Edinburgh aims to create a smart city operations centre to deliver transformative digital services using the likes of AI, the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and Advanced Analytics.

The plan envisions using ‘smart city’ systems, such as intelligent traffic signals, smart streetlights that can control their own luminosity, street bins that can signal when they are full and smart sensors in council homes to predict, manage and prevent damage to properties such as damp.

In addition, the city has plans to increase digital security to protect the council’s network and data and bring down the council’s carbon footprint by reducing paper and print, reducing waste, and reusing or recycling equipment.

Finally, the council wants to enhance options for remote working for council employees and to take advantage of global trends such as moving to cloud-based services to reduce costs.

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Cammy Day, leader on the City of Edinburgh Council’s Smart Cities, said: “Becoming a smart city will make Edinburgh a more sustainable and fair city so I’m pleased we’ve secured CGI’s long-term support to help us with our vision.

“We’re already well on our way to transforming the way we deliver many Council services, making them much more efficient and easy to use for residents. We want to develop this further and under the contract, we’re looking at making digital learning services a lot more accessible and inclusive for all our pupils and residents.

“The work we will do with CGI will also support our plans for lowering carbon emissions and lowering costs by using smart technology. We realised savings of £45m when our partnership began in 2015, with an additional £11m in 2018 and this extension will save the council a further £12m at a time when our finances are under pressure.”

CGI President for the UK and Australia Tara McGeehan said: “CGI, as the primary provider of transformational ICT services to the City of Edinburgh Council, has already helped modernise end-to-end digital services for both citizens and council employees.

“Our hard work together has helped make the process of living and working in Edinburgh more transparent, more collaborative and more dynamic, delivering significant benefits to the city.

“This contract extension will now help us work with the council so it can become one of the world’s ‘smartest’ capital cities. By using the latest digital technology, we aim to grow our relationship with the council, and in turn help the council grow its relationship with its citizens so they live and work in a dynamic, digitally-advanced Smart City.”

Michael Behr

Senior Staff Writer

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